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My Mother’s Day wish…

May 13, 2017

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Happy Mother’s Day weekend to all of you wonderful moms out there. Earlier this week, Bret asked me what I wanted for Mother’s Day. Sleeping in and organizing my clutter filled closets were the first two things to pop into my mind. Neither of which involved my kids, which kind of defeats the whole purpose of Mother’s Day. I feel like a jerk now that I’m actually writing this but have a feeling that a lot of other moms out there would ask for similar things too, right?! I’m going to go ahead and chalk it up to being normal and human.

What I didn’t realize is I would get the best Mother’s Day gift of all a day early. This morning there was some sort of magic in the air in our house. And it wasn’t because I got to sleep in. I actually brought Jack into our room earlier than he normally wakes, teething the likely culprit for the early morning alarm clock. Lucky for me, he’s at the age where he’s totally happy hanging out in my nook, so we did just that until the girls were awake. Then each of the girls made their way to join the cuddle fest. No agenda, no hustle to get dressed and out the door, just our little Z tribe.

I took in every last hug, smooch, giggle and conversation. I took in holding my sweet boy’s tiny feet in my hands, smelling his little head full of wispy baby hair. That baby smell, can we please bottle it up?! I took in making eyes with my amazing husband. Feeling all the feels after 6 years together. Yes, this morning was magic, my friends. Magic that you can’t plan or orchestrate intentionally. Magic that happens when you least expect it. The only thing missing was a cup of coffee. I think I’ll revise tomorrow’s Mother’s Day gift requests to include just that. And another morning in bed with my little people. The closets can wait another year.

Photo by Melissa West via

Coffee Talk, Eats, Fashion, Friday Five, Interiors, Kids, Lifestyle, Sale, Travel

Friday Five | For the Moms

May 12, 2017
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image via dear friend blog (featured image via domino)

I’m currently bike riding along Venice Beach with two college besties en route to the adorable Rose Café. I can’t wait for this getaway to start my summer refreshed for all the fun that’s in store. Here are some weekend reads to help you get into R&R mode, especially all you moms who deserve it most.

If you can’t get to California any time soon, here are five spots to taste wine that aren’t Napa.

Rebecca Minkoff’s sample sale lasts through the weekend. Get a bag before the best ones are gone! My pick? This pastel pink guy. 

The breakfast of champions–eggs cooked in butter with a side of bacon–is believe it or not, good for you. Nutritionists explain why.

Here’s a case for no more homework, and it’s pretty convincing.

These kitchen windows will get you in the mood for al fresco dining starting now.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Eats, Entertain, Featured, Interiors, Lifestyle

simple Cinco de Mayo party recipes

May 5, 2017

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In honor of Cinco de Mayo, we teamed up with the fabulous Marcia from Smart in the Kitchen to bring y’all some festive recipes for your party weekend! Today’s collaboration started when I offered to host my daughter’s class at our house for dinner a few weeks back. I love throwing parties and host often but have never hosted anything for a group this size (20 or so people) that requires dinner. For bigger groups, I typically outsource the food aka order pizzas (ha!) or do easy appetizers. But dinner for 20, I was in over my head.

I immediately called Marcia and asked for ideas. Clueless in the Kitchen meet Smart in the Kitchen! She had me at kale guacamole! Marcia was also working on a post for fajitas for a crowd and promised it was SUPER easy. If you’ve got a grill (check!) and have a Trader Joe’s nearby (check!), you too, can rock some delicious fajitas for a big group. I did cheat and pick up some rice and beans from my favorite Mexican restaurant. That’ll be our little secret though. Another secret I’ll share, the bagged salads at Whole Foods. That’s right, salad in a bag folks. The Taylor Farms organic Sirancha ranch chopped salad is delish. It comes with tortilla strips that aren’t soggy, sunflower seeds and shredded parmesan cheese. Yum. And add in some avocado and it screams made from scratch. For an appetizer I threw out some crudités with Marcia’s homemade ranch dressing. And served her margaritas for a crowd, another super simple recipe (3 ingredients!) that can be made ahead! After a few refreshing margs, the entire crowd will think the meal was fantastic no matter how it turned out anyway. Ha! Happy Cinco de Mayo, y’all!

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Kale Guacamole

If you use a food processor to make this, there’s no need to chop the kale fine. If you aren’t using a food processor, be sure to chop the kale and onions very well.
Ingredients
  • Juice of 2 limes (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 4 small Lacinato kale leaves, stems removed and roughly chopped
  • ½ cup white or yellow onion, chopped (or less to taste)
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 small Serrano or jalapeno, deseeded and chopped
  • 3 large ripe avocados, halved, pitted and peeled
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of your food processor, combine the lime juice, kale, onion, cilantro, Serrano and salt. Pulse until combined.
  2. Add the avocado and pulse until you reach your desired consistency.
  3. Taste for seasoning and add salt or lime juice if necessary.
Notes
If you do not have a food processor, make sure the kale and cilantro is well chopped and combine ingredients with a potato masher or mash well with a fork.

Tomatillo Salsa

This easy salsa verde will save for a week stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Use it on scrambled eggs, tacos, chicken and grilled flank steak. Tomatillos contain natural pectin, so don’t be surprised if the consistency of the salsa thickens after it’s refrigerated.
Ingredients
  • 1 pound tomatillos
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 1 serrano pepper, seeds and ribs removed and finely chopped (this amount can be halved or quartered to taste)
  • ½ white or yellow onion, chopped (about ¾ cup)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  • Juice of 2 limes
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Remove husks and place tomatillos on a half-sheet pan lightly coated in oil. Roast in a preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until soft and browned.
  3. Place the roasted tomatillos and the remaining ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until the salsa comes together. Be careful when lifting the lid because of the steam.

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Quick Pickled Red Onions

Pickled red onions take only 10 minutes to put together, but they are better after sitting for 3-4 hours. In her book, Tacolicious, Sara Deseran makes these with the addition of Mexican oregano which adds a nice flavor.

Ingredients
  • 1 cup rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 red onion, cut in half and sliced very thin into half moons
Instructions
  1. In a medium sauce pan, bring to a boil the vinegar, water, sugar and kosher salt.
  2. Place the sliced red onion in a glass or ceramic bowl and pour the warm rice vinegar mixture over the onions. Cover and soak for 3-4 hours.

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outfit details | Parker dress similar here and here | J. Crew sandals  other festive sandals here and here and embroidered espadrilles here | Rebecca de Ravenel earrings, similar here for less

This post was brought to you in collaboration with Smart in the Kitchen.

photography by Kate Robinson

Coffee Talk, Fashion, Featured, Friday Five, Lifestyle, Travel

Friday Five | Popsicles & Pale Pink

May 5, 2017
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image c/o veryclever

I’m taking a personal day to take care of all those things that seem to go by the wayside during the week and never seem to fit into a standard weekend. I hope you find some time for yourself too, and when you do, your online reads are ready for you!

The ballet pink in this line of bags is the perfect shade, and there’s a style for everyone.

Meet a memory-saving app that will have all the texts you intend to send sent in a timely manner.

One of these popsicle photo ops will be my new seasonal desktop and iPhone wallpapers for summer.

How attractive is Helen’s wine shop in LA?

According to this quiz, my favorite rom-com is The Wedding Planner. Find out yours!

Happy Cinco de Mayo weekend!

Around {H} Town + Travel, Coffee Talk, Featured, Lifestyle, Motherhood

I feel home.

April 29, 2017

View More: http://traciling.pass.us/lyndseyblog2

I get nostalgic coming home. This week Jack and I headed home to the house I grew up in, over the rolling hills miles outside of the small southern Ohio town that I’m from. There are so many memories here, happy ones and sad ones. This was the place I ran through the tiny maze-like hallways with my cousin and our baby buggies. The kitchen table where I had years of “cakes in the morning.” The gravel driveway that I ran across barefoot to and from the pool during the summertime. At the other end of the driveway, the school bus stopped for me from grade school until I got my first car.  The house where I spent every Christmas with my insanely large and AWESOME extended family. Christmas gifts covering the pool table in the basement, sheer chaos and squeals over getting Pound Puppies from Uncle John. The house where I hunted Easter eggs and I’m pretty sure there are some misfit eggs still hidden in the basement.

I got ready for all major high school dances in this house. In what seemed like the blink of an eye, I packed up my car and headed to Ohio State University, and this house was always the first stop I made when I got back into town. On September 11th, 2015 I woke up to see Today Show footage of the Twin Towers just moments after the first building was hit. I brought a few boyfriends to this house and finally “the one” who asked for my hand in marriage in the living room. 3 months after my wedding, I surprised my family with news that a baby was on the way in this very house. My Mom took her last breath here, surrounded by her family. And I’ve continued to return to this house with each of my children. And it will forever be a special part of their lives too. They’ve built snowmen in the front yard, run barefoot in the grass, caught lightning bugs on hot summer nights, and cuddled with so many family members here. My heart is happy when I’m home.

Coffee Talk, Eats, Fashion, Featured, Friday Five, Lifestyle, Travel, Uncategorized

Friday Five | California Dreaming

April 28, 2017
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image c/o Now, Forager

I’m going to LA in two weekends to visit my friend Mimi who lives in Malibu. It was a last minute decision, but I’m so glad I made it. It will be a girl’s weekend through and through, and I can’t wait to kick off summer on the coast of California.

Rest assured, we’ll make our way to Malibu Farms along with these best brunch spots.

My sandal collection is slim pickens, so as summer nears, I’m stocking up, starting with this yellow slide.

This citrus parfait with coconut cashew granola looks like the ideal summer breakfast.

As an admitted text-addict but a lover of old fashioned handwritten notes, this experiment struck a chord with me.

Loving this moody coffee on-the-go cup design.

Around {H} Town + Travel, Fashion, Featured, Kids, Lifestyle, Travel

Pura Vida at Four Seasons Costa Rica

April 23, 2017

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Costa Rica, the “pura vida,” pure life, and that it is. Bret and I had the chance to sneak away to Four Seasons Costa Rica at  Peninsula Papagayo for some much needed R&R. I didn’t realize how easy it would be to get from Houston to Costa Rica, a 3 hour flight and a quick cab ride from the airport to the property. This trip is the perfect spot for a long weekend (US direct flights locations listed below), but if I had my kids in tow we would have stayed for a lot longer.

The resort sits atop the Papagayo Peninsula, one of the prettiest pieces of property I’ve seen, with a beach on both sides of the resort. The view from our canopy suite was an awesome mix of terrain, monkeys were actually hanging out in the trees just outside our window, and the ocean.  Four Seasons Papagayo is the place to be for eco-adventure–kayaking, repelling, hiking, paddle boarding, surfing, snorkeling, the list goes on. The excursions available through the resort kept the adventure seeker in Bret happy and the incredible spa and chill beach ambiance was perfection for me.

There’s truly something for everyone at Four Seasons Costa Rica, including our kids. The resort operates with kids in mind, from wagons full of beach toys, to stools in each of the restrooms (if you have a toddler you feel me on this perk!) to castle tents in the guest bedrooms, this place is kid heaven. I can’t wait to come back with my entire family later this year.

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Costa Rica Travel Guide | Four Seasons Costa Rica at Papagayo

When to go | The best time to visit Costa Rica is from mid-December to April (the dry season)

Direct flights from | Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas, Denver, Minneapolis, Chicago, Washington D.C., Boston, New York, Newark, Atlanta and Miami

What to pack | See this post for packing ideas

What to do | Right on the Four Seasons property you can golf, spa, paddle board, kayak and more. There so many activities right at your fingertips, you could stay for weeks and no day would look the same. Water sports, fishing, hiking, golf, day trips for surfing in Tamarindo, Costa Rica’s #1 surf camp, or the active volcano at Arenal, ATV rides, repelling, the list goes on.

Where to eat | The restaurants on the resort property were all so fabulous. We had a special chef’s table dinner at Cena Sociale with 7 course tasting including wine pairing. The food and wine were amazing, one of the best meals I’ve ever  had. Even cooler, was the experience. Our table was in the actual kitchen directly in front of the serving line, so we got to see the chef’s in action, very exciting!

Kid friendly | Yes! The resort is great for kids, including guest suites that will hold multiple families

Stroller friendly | The resort is very hilly, but there are concrete paths that are stroller friendly. The Four Seasons also provides a shuttle service to all guests, so it was easy to get around the resort via golf cart, as well.

Outfit details (photos above) | Mara Hoffman cover up | Mara hoffman bikini top | Target bikini bottom | beach hat | J. Crew sandal | Bauble bar earrings | Lizzie Fortunato clutch

Trina turk maxi dress with gold neckline detail | Prada sandals, similar here | clutch, similar (under $100) steal here and splurge here

*This post was brought to you in collaboration with Four Seasons Costa Rica. Thank you for supporting the brands and businesses that make L. Avenue possible.

 

Coffee Talk, Eats, Fashion, Featured, Friday Five, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Friday Five | Scarves & Sweets

April 21, 2017
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image via Gal Meets Glam

I’m sort of obsessed with scarves. For someone who is cold natured but lives in a hot, humid city like Houston, it’s the perfect thing to keep on hand.

image via Gal Meets Glam

image via Gal Meets Glam

So, you can imagine my intrigue when the necktie trend took off. I got my first in San Francisco when I fell in love with a spin-off of the classic bandana pattern in a forest green, pale pink and marigold colorway.

Here’s even more reason to feel good about the neck-tie trend.

I wore a yellow denim jacket as a bright addition to my Easter ensemble. Apparently, it’s the it color of spring, so I can’t wait to stock up on more.

My best friend found herself in a similar spot I did last year where she felt her job was robbing her of a great deal of daily joy. I feel fortunate enough to have found my dream job, and she just did too! Fill out this questionnaire to guide you toward yours.

Some of my best writing stints have been spurred by traveling to new cities. As summer approaches, plan a trip and perhaps you’ll find that putting pen to paper never felt so natural.

The name Elisabeth Epperson, a blonde baking blogger, will be one to know sooner rather than later.

Have the best weekend. X

Coffee Talk, Eats, Entertain, Featured, Friday Five, Holiday, Interiors, Lifestyle

Friday Five | Happy Easter

April 14, 2017

My mom’s favorite holiday is Easter, and it’s hard to blame her. With winter behind us and the sunshiney seasons ahead, it seems like the best of 2017 is still to come. Here are some good reads while you unwind with your family over the long holiday weekend:

What’s Gaby Cooking x Williams Sonoma is a collaboration to end all collaborations. Needless to say, I can’t wait to try this line of salsas and the guac stater.

Really feelin’ the plant vibes in Alex Thomsens eclectic crib.

Snagged these DVF cocktail heels with both silver and gold to get me through the next round of cocktail parties.

For last minute Sunday brunch recipe ideas, Smart in the Kitchen has you covered.

I just started following House of Hackney and have fallen head over heels for their tropical wallpapers.

Happy Easter!

Coffee Talk, Fashion, Featured, Friday Five, Lifestyle

Friday Five | The French Edition

March 31, 2017
image via Garance Doré

image via Garance Doré

I’ll never regret my decision to take French growing up instead of (the much more useful in Texas) Spanish. On my first overseas trip to visit my sister in Austria, my parents and I made a pit stop in Paris. I fell in love and have been a bona fide Francophile ever since. Today’s Friday Five features all things French. Enjoy!

My mom has been hooked on French 75s since my brother served them over the holidays. See how French cocktails of all kinds are making a comeback.

Long before his red soles, Christian Louboutin made his shoes from fish scales, and it was a total fail. Read other fantastic fashion stories in Kate Bett’s memoir, My Paris Dream.

This Swedish brand partnered with French American blogger Garance Doré to make this raincoat in the most sophisticated shade of pink.

What kind of bubbly are you? I got Classic Brut, and I’m very okay with that.

West Coast meets French flair at L’AGENCE, and I’m all over this tomato red dress from their spring collection.

Bon week-end!